Best Mac Cleaning Utility

Shop Best Buy for the MacBook Pro. Take your work to the next level with Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display and create stunning graphics with ease. Hi everyone, Recently, there have been two OS X clean up utilities for which I've been getting ads for. They are: -CleanMyMac 2.MacKeeper 2012. I want to know which is better. MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3), 13' Entry level model, uses an SSD. Best Free Mac Cleaner in 2021 - FoneDog Mac Cleaner. The best Mac cleaner should have the analysis, cleanup, and optimization features to really get through the whole idea of removing unnecessary files and speed up the system. FoneDog Mac Cleaner has the complete, comprehensive, and most effective solution, so far. It does not only boost. Most of those cleaning programs are junk, especially MacKeeper. If your friend got onto your computer and visited a bunch of adult sites, then I would recommend something like OnyX, doing ALL the cleaning and maintenance aspects and rebooting, perhaps followed by a Disk Utility Erase free space.

We clean our rooms and clothes so why not our Macs? But who can waste the entire day digging through folders and files? There are so many places like music, videos, apps and email downloads, and countless more locations on your Mac where junk and clutter accumulates. In 2021 cleaning your Mac is easier than ever. Which is why millions of people download free and low-cost Mac cleaning software.

To start off, we've made a quick comparison chart about the best Mac cleaners for Mac.

1CleanMyMac XBest cleaning and antimalware functionality in one toolLink
2Disk DoctorQuick scan and deep cleaning of all kinds of junkLink
3Gemini 2Finds duplicate and similar files everywhere on your Mac, including Photos, iTunes, and external drives.Link

A handy cleaner may prove that your Mac is still alive and can actually perform at its best. In this article we’ve brought together some of the best Mac cleaning solutions around to clean, optimize, and maintain Macs that are available in 2021.

Top 12 best cleaners for Mac: Free and premium versions

1. CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X takes the first place with good reason — this cleaner combines features of both cleaning software and antimalware tool. Its Smart Scan promises a “nice and thorough scan of your Mac.” It does what it says, detecting junk like user cache files and system logs, checking your Mac for malicious software, and speeding up your MacBook. Looks like, there is a threat in my system, that I need to get rid of:

Frankly speaking, CleanMyMac X is Tesla Roadster among other Mac cleaners. And it does a great job revealing your junk and other clutter, uninstalling unneeded apps and their leftovers, and keeping your Mac’s system clean and optimized. Another pro is that CleanMyMac X is Apple-notarized, which means it’s safe for your Mac. You can download its free version right here.

Price: $39.95
Free version: Available here

2. Disk Doctor

Disk Doctor is developed in the UK and was awarded the 'Mac Gem’ award by MacWorld in 2013. CNET and other tech journalists also praise functionality. As of 2021, it still looks like a useful tool for Mac cleaning that removes junk slowing down and reducing the computing power of your Mac.

Price: $2.99
Free version
: N/A

3. Gemini 2

Gemini 2 is the duplicate finder that allows you to free up gigabytes of storage and organize your files. In just a few minutes.

It quickly scans every corner of your Mac and weeds out useless copies. No matter what type of file it is: a photo, music track, or a doc… Gemini will definitely find it. And once the scan is done, you can remove the duplicates in a click. Or review results to make sure nothing important gets deleted.

If you remove something by accident, it takes just a click to put it back. And to make sure things like that never happen again, you can exclude specific files and folders from scan. Try out the free version right here.

The app has seen a major update in 2021 which included a real-time duplicate monitor. This new tool notifies you of duplicates the moment they are created on your Mac.

Price: $19.96
Free version
: Available here

4. DaisyDisk

DaisyDisk gives you a visual representation of your Mac folders, making it easy to see what is taking up space and delete the folders you don't need. All you need to do is select a drive, DaisyDisk will scan it, then you can delete everything that is wasting valuable space. It comes with a free and premium version.

Free version
: Trial version available

5. AppCleaner & Uninstaller

If you only need to uninstall apps on Mac, AppCleaner is a good pick. AppCleaner only removes applications, plugins, and widgets, which are again, small apps. AppCleaner works in a familiar drag & drop mode. Its interface is also clean and easy to understand for a newbie.

After feeding the apps to AppCleaner, you should visit the Leftovers section of the app to erase their remains. Why we place AppCleaner & Uninstaller among free Mac cleaner tools? Because it is 100% free. Whether you will fully clean your Mac using it, is a different question.
AppCleaner & Uninstaller is created by FreeMacSoft, also the makers of LiteIcon, an icon customizer for Mac.
: Voluntary donation

6. Smart Mac Care

If you launch Smart Mac Care, it will look hauntingly familiar to other free Mac cleaner apps. Not only features will be called the same, everything up to the fonts, will be identical to some other app you’ve just used. That’s not a minus, though. You can still free up a lot of space with Smart Mac Care.

Smart Mac Care operates by a logic of “scans.” There is a Junk Scan, Malware Scan, Privacy Scan, etc. Just like Mac Booster, Smart Mac Care removes duplicates scattered in various locations on your Mac. There’s also a Memory Optimizer feature that promises to free up RAM on your Mac. In a word, Smart Mac Care resembles every other generic product whose only difference is in packaging. This is supported by the fact that we couldn’t find any credible third-party reviews for this app.

On another skeptical note: to uninstall Smart Mac Care you have to enter your admin password. This is not the case with other Mac cleaners we’ve used.
: $56.62 per year
Free version
: Demo available

7. Drive Genius

Drive Genius is labeled a “Mac monitoring software.” It’s a whole suite of tools that provide powerful disk diagnostics. It’s hard to list a thing that this software doesn’t do. You can scan for malware, secure-erase files, customize icons — it’s dozens of apps in one body. What makes Drive Genius unique is, probably, its search for corrupted files and inconsistencies on your drive. If your Mac is an old one, keeping it in good health will be easier with Drive Genius.

In a free version, you can use just a fraction of tools, notably a DiskPulse utility. This is an automatic Mac health checker that notifies you before your hard drive fails. Unlike Mac cleaners that merely scan, it is able to repair damage on your disks, which makes it a real deal. Be prepared that hard drive scan may take some time, but the results are worth it. The latest version of Drive Genius released in 2020 adds long-awaited support for macOS Big Sur.

Price: $299 for Professional edition
Free version
: Limited Lite edition is available

8. CCleaner

Originally created in 2004 by Piriform, CCleaner comes with a free and professional version, focusing on businesses and business customers. CCleaner is a cross-platform tool, for PCs, Macs, Android, and it has a Cloud, Network and Technician tool, depending on what you need and the platform/software you use.

The premium version comes with a lot more features, including real-time alerts, free updates, and dedicated support. Although created for PCs in the early days, CCleaner does well to identify unwanted files on a Mac, so that users can select and delete the files and folders they don't need to free up space. As a cleaner for Mac, customers are pretty happy with the results of CCleaner.
Price: $19.95
Free version
: Available

9. Sensei

The Sensei app is a relatively new app on the market, but it can be another useful tool for your Mac. The Sensei software developers call the app “Pro Mac Cleaner” on their website. I would call it a performance controlling tool.

Sensei presents a detailed picture of how your Mac performs. In the Dashboard, you can find out information about your MacBook, check your CPU’s current temperature, and see how much of your RAM is used. Cooling gives you exact information on your Mac’s fans' speed.

Its Clean option helps to get rid of user cache, logs, large files, etc. The Uninstaller feature allows you to delete apps from your Mac and remove their traces. It doesn’t list pre-installed apps from Apple, such as Safari or Calendar, but it shows every app you have installed on your Mac.

Surely, you can clean up your Mac manually, but using dedicated software will save you tons of time.

Price: $29 per year
Free version
: Available

Free Mac cleaners review

The following Mac cleaning apps are either completely free or donation-based. You won’t find any trial limitations here. If you’re looking for a no thrill basic cleanup, these free Mac cleaners might help you.


10. Onyx

OnyX is a french Mac cleaning solution developed by Titanium software. It weighs only 5 MB but that doesn’t mean its capabilities are limited. OnyX is a tool that programmers will have a lot of fun with. With it, you can peek under the hood of your macOS and automate a whole list of jobs, like disk cleanup and cache removal. You can even tweak the color of folders on your Mac, and even make them invisible. Deservedly, it's among the best free Mac cleaners.

Best Mac Cleaning Utility

OnyX is one of the best Mac cleaners because it cleans many specific under-the-surface files, like inner databases and logs. If you know what is XPC cache is, you’ll probably like this app. But for us, ordinary Mac users who came here for the design and glossy buttons, OnyX will require some learning time.
Those who use OnyX say it is stable and reliable. There is no dedicated customer service (because OnyX is free software), but you shouldn’t be worried. The only likely damage is you accidentally deleting files by yourself.
: Free cleaner

11. Clean me

This open-source app that only exists in the form of GitHub download is good enough for cleaning caches and logs. It’s so small its ZIP file weighs only 1.3 MB.
Clean me shows the size of each category of cache files. It analyzes such junk as Application Cache, User Cache, and more temporary files

The developer recommends that you start your cleanup with auto-selected options. Otherwise, you may delete something valuable by accident. So treat it as an analyzer and you’ll be safe.
Price: Free cleaner

12. Native macOS cleaner (Optimize Storage)

Your macOS has its own cleaner of sorts. You’ve probably come across it when checking your occupied disk space.
Go to Apple menu.
Now, click About this Mac > Storage > Manage.

In the sidebar you’ll see the main categories of files on your Mac. Going through Documents is likely to be the most fruitful option. Check the Size and click on Last Accessed. Now you’ve found all those movies gathering dust in your Downloads.
In the same way you can delete some old apps. This feature could be an alternative to a free Mac cleaner; the only problem is it works largely on the surface. You won’t be able to remove System Junk or analyze the grey areas occupied by “Other.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t my Mac clean itself?

Your macOS also has a built-in Mac cleaner, which Apple called Optimized Storage. Though its capabilities are limited, it gives you basic directions on where to start the cleanup. But for a thorough system cleanup and removing malware, you’ll need a dedicated Mac cleaner app.

Can Mac cleaner apps delete my important files?

Typically, best Mac cleaner apps have a protection built-in. They will usually select only those files that are safe for deletion.

Best Mac Cleaning Utility Software

Will Mac cleaners slow down my Mac?

Some cleaners try to get into your Login items, thus creating an extra burden on the processor. On a flip side, the reliable Mac cleaner apps might even speed up your Mac. They remove all the outdated junk files giving your Mac an extra boost.

Mac cleaning apps you should avoid

Above we've touched the trusted Mac cleanup solutions but there are many that work on the dark side. Malwarebytes lists Advanced Mac Cleaner Pro and similar tools as unwanted applications. Here are some signs that should warn you against using scam Mac cleaners.
Signs of Mac cleaner scam:

  • 'Your Mac is infected' intrusive message
  • An app is installed as part of different app
  • An app finds 2323 (the number is an example) threats on your Mac
  • Mac cleaner redirects your search engine page

Be safe and happy cleaning.


A new Mac always seems to be lightning quick. But then it might slow down up to 17% when its disk is near full (confirmed by MacWorld in a test). And there we got a whole world of Mac optimization apps. Some of them are good enough that even Apple employees use them (Guy Kawasaki, for one). So here are some absolutely essential Mac optimizers to check in 2021.

These are top 3 optimizers that look most optimistic to us (sorry for the pun). We've chosen these among hundreds of others mentioned on Mac Forums.

1CleanMyMac XIncludes tools for optimizing your Mac, securely deleting files, and scanning for malware.Link
2AVGQuick scan and deep cleaning of all kinds of junkLink
3OnyxAllows you to adjust parameters that would normally need to be set in TerminalLink

All three are aimed at basic Mac housekeeping. And now, let's dive into these options and then we'll analyze a few more relevant alternatives.


Best Mac Optimizer software reviewed

Made by independent macOS developer, MacPaw, this app tops our chart.

1. CleanMyMac X

This app, which is notarized by Apple, is absolutely gorgeous visually. But it also sports 49 tools to optimize a Mac in one app. It has a free version you can download and play around with.

Inside, you’ll find a full range of tools that will declutter your Mac, make it run faster, and even scan it for malware and remove whatever it finds. One of the great things about CleanMyMac X is that you choose how much control you take over what it removes.

In terms of Mac optimization, you can:

  • Free up RAM memory
  • Disable heavy memory consumers
  • Run Maintenance scripts

It’s worth checking, anyway if you want to improve your Mac’s performance.

2. AVG Cleaner

AVG Cleaner has two functions — to find and remove “junk”’ files one you Mac and to identify duplicate files and make it easy to remove them. The files AVG Cleaner tracks down include cache files from web browsers, apps, photos, and videos; log files; download history; broken downloads; and Trash contents.

When you launch the app, you’ll see it has a clean, modern interface that gives you the option of scanning your Mac for files to clean, or scanning for duplicates. Once you’ve chosen the Disc Cleaner and the scan is complete, you can press a button to clean up the files it has found or view them in more detail and decide which to delete and which to keep. If you choose to scan for duplicates, AVG Cleaner will ask you which folders you want to scan and then show you what it found.

AVG Cleaner is free, l looks great, and works well. However, compared with CleanMyMac X, it lacks many features. These include a malware removal tool, secure file deletion, optimization tools and an app uninstaller.

3. OnyX

Like most of the apps listed here, OnyX is more than just optimization software for your Mac. It also has a number of tools for cleaning your Mac. However, OnyX also does something that no other tool listed here does: it allows you to adjust settings on your Mac that are otherwise only available through the Terminal app. It’s more of a customizer for your macOS.

Whether you want to rebuild a database or index, or just changed the default location or file format for screenshots, you can do it in OnyX. In terms of optimization tools, OnyX can clean up system files and browser data, rebuild Spotlight and Launch Services databases, run maintenance scripts and clean up recent items lists.

It doesn’t have a secure file deletion tool or malware scanner, however. And it’s nowhere near as user friendly as tools we’ve described above. If you like playing around with settings and getting under the hood of your Mac, though, it’s a good choice.

4. Drive Genius

Drive Genius started out many years ago as a tool for monitoring the performance of your drive, warning you of any potential problems and allowing you to fix them. It has evolved into a tool for optimizing performance and cleaning up drives, as well as keeping it safe.

Some of its features, such as re-partition, rebuild, and de-fragment, don’t work on APFS drives, but the others do. Those other tools include a malware scanner and removal tool, a secure erase utility, and tools for finding and removing duplicate and large files. In addition to those, Drive Genius still has tools for identifying potential problems that could lead to drive failure and allows you to fix them.

It’s not as user-friendly as similar apps, and doesn’t include an application uninstaller and tools for removing login items and launch agents.

5. macOS Manage Storage

Manage Storage is a feature that’s built into recent versions of macOS. To access it, click on the Apple menu, then About this Mac> Storage> Manage Storage.

When you do that you’ll see a list of categories on the left-hand side of the window that opens. At the top is Recommendations. This is where macOS helps you easily free up storage space by recommending what to get rid of. For example, it might recommend that you store files in iCloud and only keep recent ones on your Mac, or that you allow the OS to delete Apple TV downloads you’ve already watched.

The other categories cover things like Mail attachments, Garageband sound libraries, podcasts, and iOS backups. You just click on each section in turn and follow the advice in the window.

Manage Storage is a very useful tool and can certainly help free up storage space. However, it is not a replacement for a tool like CleanMyMac X because there is no app uninstaller and there are no tools to remove junk files or optimize performance.

6. CCleaner

CCleaner is one of the oldest cleaner tools around, having been available on the Mac for nearly a decade and on Windows before that. It offers tools to get rid of junk files cluttering up your Mac, remove cookies, history files, and other web browser data, and disable login items and launch agents. It also has an app uninstaller, and the professional version offers real-time protection against potentially harmful files you may download.

Like most tools here, you can choose to follow its recommendations and remove files with just a few clicks, or review the files it finds and choose which to remove yourself.

CCleaner has many of the tools available in CleanMyMac X. However, it’s not as easy to use, in our opinion, thanks to its less friendly user interface. It also doesn’t have a tool to allow you to quickly see what files are occupying space on your Mac, like CleanMyMac X’s Space Lens, or a way of securely shredding sensitive files.

7. Disk Clean Pro

Disk Clean Pro offers many of the same tools as the other cleaners here. You can use its automated utilities to quickly get rid of junk files, logs, crash reports and partial downloads. And you can also use it to identify and remove duplicate files, old files, large files and old downloads. There are also tools to remove browser files, aloud backups and mail downloads.

Best Cleaning Utility For Mac

Like CCleaner, however, its interface isn’t the friendliest. Also, there are no tools for scanning for malware, securely deleting files, or uninstalling apps.
Does Mac optimization involve cleaning?
Many of the tools above belong to the category of cleaners, so why place them here? To answer that, we should define “optimization” more clearly. If optimization means improving the performance, it does entail a bit of cleaning that is improving something by elimination. To optimize any computer, one should start with removing blockages, massive unwanted objects, and apps that eat up a lot of memory.

Best Mac Cleaning Utility

There are lots of applications that can optimize your Mac’s performance and make it run more smoothly. Most of these apps are paid, but you can get away with a free version in some cases.

We would rather pick CleanMyMac X for the sheer number of features and its looks but the choice is yours.

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